Blog Archives

Posting Up Against Giants

Tom Hanks, Meryl Streep, and Steven Spielberg walk into a newsroom…

Journalism, not the shouting on cable news, is invaluable in a democracy. More specifically, the gritty, old-school reporting approach with pen marks galore, endless stacks of paper and the pursuit of revealing the greater truth to an “off-limits” story instead of merely getting there/yelling something inflammatory first is increasingly becoming a relic of the past.

And it’s in this pre-digital past that Steven Spielberg ventured into for a modern-day reflection. Plus, Mr. Spielberg was able to bring Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep together for the first time for a major motion picture.

Steven Spielberg’s forthcoming film The Post isn’t necessarily aiming to revitalize print journalism as much as it seems to be directed towards reigniting the spark of a thoughtful, determined American media.

Considering the times we live, in which news in the political, sports and entertainment spheres are indistinguishably blurred together and run and broadcasted by powerful insiders (former athletes, political operatives, and commentators on both sides, etc.), the question that lingers is, “Who can those on the outside trust?”

It is likely that The Post won’t comprehensively answer this critical question, but this film will transport audiences back to a time when there was information you knew and information you didn’t know. “Metrics” and “analytics” hadn’t yet become fancy synonyms for information. Journalists took a breath, focused and refocused a few times, went to work all day and night while framing a report in a context that far exceeded the words and margins of the said story.

Even when the story was (like in this film) larger-than-life and full of high-level risks and stakes for a nation asking important high-level questions.

The leaking of the Pentagon Papers had its fair share of controversy. It will be interesting to see how the legendary director chose to tell and frame historically significant events involving real people. Nonetheless, the Pentagon Papers and the Washington Post have received the top-shelf Spielbergian treatment in The Post that stars Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep set for theatrical release this Christmas.

And then set for ordering on Amazon several months later.


Happy Monday

So, very long (and frustrating) story short, airport cancellations aren’t fun.

Now that you, like me, have audibly said, “duh,” let me explain just a little bit of what I mean.

After a fun weekend in the heart of D.C. and the suburb of Potomac, MD, the plan was to fly out with family late today. Then the flight got delayed 10 minutes…20 minutes…2 hours…2 1/2 hours…3 hours…

and then, the airline finally declared the obvious:

The flight was officially cancelled, along with many, many others.

The issue wasn’t restricted to D.C. airports, however, as construction fumes in an aviation building in Virginia caused flight cancellations across the country. After hours of running through Plans A-Z, that one hotel room was finally discovered late into the night. And this experience (and others like it) provide us with few good options. However, in these cases, realizing the frustrating odds against us can be the first step towards realizing the best approach to the situation.

Tom Hanks for the win in The Terminal. 

Have a Better Week Than Last Week. 

Life’s Big, Witty Pieces

We all love Tom Hanks.

Who doesn’t?

And we all love Colin Hanks (you see where I’m going with this) because he is, in many ways that are entirely conceivable, a younger version of Tom Hanks. Need proof? Then may I highly recommend the CBS sitcom Life in Pieces. Colin’s role on this CBS sitcom as Greg Short answers the question of whether Tom Hanks could make it on TV in 2017. By the way, that answer is a resounding YES. And if you like sitcoms with clever writing, funny actors and actresses, lots of heart and laugh-out-loud moments, then you need to watch Life in Pieces on Thursday nights.

Since today is Friday and the weekend is just about here, it seems fitting to have some fun and enjoy an interview in which the aforementioned funnyman Colin Hanks answers questions about his father Michael Keaton Tom Hanks.

The comedic apple did not fall far from the tree.

It’s probably safe to presume that the show runner for Life in Pieces likely cast Colin right away.

A Circle’s Past Perfection is a Modern Imperfection

“When and how should technology be utilized? How much personal information is too much information? Have we crossed the line of no return? Has the human race finally come full circle with its development, innovation and necessity for information technology?”
–“Technology Coming Full Circle?” on Jimmy’s Daily Planet from December 7, 2016

The excerpt above is from a Jimmy’s Daily Planet blog post from December 7, 2016 that was inspired by the first trailer for the movie The Circle that stars Tom Hanks, Emma Watson and John Boyega. Given the ever-increasing dependency (and apparent willingness) on the part of advanced societies to insert technology into seemingly every aspect of our daily lives, the questions above are left wanting at a somewhat alarming rate and moment in time. And The Circle aims to not only cover, but actually answer these critically important inquiries with truths we may not be prepared to discover.

Adapted from the 2013 novel by Dave Eggers with the same title, the two cinematic trailers for The Circle confirm I’m not the only person who fears that innovators (and some fans/consumers) of new technological advancements have possibly never seen any films or read any books related to science-fiction or robots or the rise of machines. I’ve been saying for many years that we’ve been (as shocking as it reads) “big brothering” ourselves. Truly incredible, isn’t it?

Ladies and gentlemen, there’s even a popular CBS show called “Big Brother” that involves recording people interacting in a surveillance house. And it’s a hit show.

It must be stated that many (possibly countless when all of recorded history is concerned) technological inventions can and have greatly propelled us forward to better places. Absolutely no argument there. We need innovative technology to help us. “Help us” are the key words here. However, these select (and amazing, in some respects) advancements do not provide blanket approval for every single new innovation that presents a new camera and form of surveillance. The second trailer for The Circle, released just hours ago online, will present this modern dilemma with, hopefully, consequential introspection.

“Some people simply view a circle as full and some people simply view a circle as empty.

Time will tell for this cinematic Circle.”
–“Technology Coming Full Circle?” on Jimmy’s Daily Planet from December 7, 2016

Let’s see if the second trailer adds clarity for the cinematic destiny of The Circle.

The theatrical release date for The Circle is April 28, 2017. Until then, good luck trying to find all the cameras.

Hint: There may be too many to count…